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Old 08-07-2014, 08:34 AM
Location: Chattanooga, TN
2,773 posts, read 3,678,723 times
Reputation: 4236


I'll give my standard answer to this debate:

The best choice depends on how much gun you can afford, and on who is holding the gun.

All the points about reliability of semi-autos are completely valid. They are more prone to failure than revolvers. If you have the money to get a good weapon, the increase is negligible. I can only remember a single (1) FTE in my Walter PPS with many hundreds of rounds down range, but that is exactly one (1) more failure than I've had with my much older Rossi .38 Spl with a similar number of total shots (i.e., it's never failed). But a cheaper/less reliable weapon would have far different stats. Basically, baring any unusual deals or sales, any revolver you buy will be more reliable than a semi-auto that costs the same amount of money. A $150 revolver will be more reliable than a $150 semi-auto. A $250 revolver will be better than a $250 semi-auto. And so forth.

Any comments about a revolver failing because of lack of maintenance or fouling are bogus. Under similar conditions, a revolver will keep firing long after a comparably-priced semi-auto has failed from fouling.

Switching sides: The points about training being able to compensate for the reliability difference are also completely valid. If I have a failure in my PPS, then I'll rack the slide and I'm still at one more shot than the revolver. However, a squib will disable any gun, even a revolver. On our last trip to the range my dad had a squib with his Makarov with his first shot. It normally works perfect, but he was intentionally shooting old surplus ammo to rotate his stock. We couldn't clear it at the range with a cleaning rod; we had to take it home and beat the bullet out of the barrel with a hammer and long screwdriver. No amount of training can compensate for that, unless you train on throwing your gun at your attacker.

In spite of this, I still carry my PPS. Mainly because it's lighter and thinner, but also because it has a few more shots (6+1 or 7+1 vs. 5, and a spare magazine is easier to carry than a speed-loader).

My recommendations are:
- If you are willing to invest the time and money to 1) get a reliable weapon, not a cheap one; 2) buy high-quality reliable defense bullets; 3) go to the range OFTEN and practice failure drills and racking the slide under pressure; and 4) practice with your expensive defensive bullets to make sure they work; then you can get a semi-auto.
- Otherwise, and especially if you are new to guns and/or will only go to the range a few times a year (or less), then get a revolver.

Last edited by jwkilgore; 08-07-2014 at 09:24 AM..
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Old 08-07-2014, 03:42 PM
8 posts, read 5,190 times
Reputation: 10
I recommend nothing but Airsoft, until you've had quite a bit of training with it, then a .22lr copy of whatever centerfire you wish to (finally) end up using. 22lr ammo can be had, you just can't get it for less than 12c per rd, but that's still only 1/2 of what 9mm ammo costs. :-) For a fact, guns require many hours of coaching and practice to be more of a help than a hindrance. and you have to ccw it everywhere, even around your house, if you expect it to be there for you when you need a gun. If you screw up with a gun, it's likely to cost you hundreds of thosuands of dollars, if not 20 years in prison. Just ask George Z about that. Cops get 50 hours of training, and they mess up every day, so you'd better get more training than that.

if you're not going to do all that, then get a $35 mace pepper gun, from Amazon, and back it up with a hickory cane (walking) or a machete ( in your car or around your home)
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